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COVID-19 Information for you and your Business

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Florida, please visit the Florida Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage.

From the CDC - Prepare your Small Business and Employees for the Effects of COVID-19


Click here for the Bradenton Area EDC COVID-19 webpage

Sarasota County Government Permitting- Open, Inspections- Open

Interested in applying for the small business resiliency loan?

Click for Draft Loan Agreement  Click for Draft Personal Guarantee Agreement

4/9/2020 - Sarasota County to tap economic development fund for business loans

3/25/2020 - Updated PDS Building Division Restrictions

PDS Building Division is establishing some restrictions on certain inspections types performed in OCCUPIED STRUCTURES that pose a risk to staff and occupant that do NOT pose life safety concerns. Effective Monday, until further notice or acceptable options are determined, inspection staff will limit any inspections that require entry into an occupied structure. Staff will verify code compliance through exterior inspections, photos/videos or other methods. Alternate methods of determining code compliance are being evaluated to provide options including recorded videos. If the inspection cannot be performed it will be canceled and scheduled at a later date.

Please see attached important notice for these inspection restrictions.

Click to read article from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

3/23/2020 - Local Inspection Updates

Effective March 23 until further notice, inspection staff will limit any inspections that require entry into an occupied structure. Staff will verify code compliance through exterior inspections, photos/videos or other methods; alternate methods of determining code compliance are currently being evaluated. If the inspection cannot be performed it will be canceled and scheduled at a later date.

City of Sarasota Permitting- Open, Inspections- Open

3/24/2020 - City of Sarasota Building Division on transmittal drop box program

In an effort to keep the construction industry moving. Plans and transmittals will be accepted in our drop box location in the lower level of the annex building located at 1565 First Street. All plans dropped off will have a 24 hour delay in processing

3/23/2020 - The City of Sarasota is continually looking at events and our process to maintain operations please monitor our website at https://www.sarasotafl.gov/ for updates or call 941-263-6000.


Manatee County Government- Offices Closed, Business as usual inside, Permitting- Open,  Inspections- Open 

4/13/2020 - The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange has joined forces with other local business organizations in Manatee and Sarasota counties to connect displaced workers with employers who need to fill staffing demands brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic. Employers can post jobs and workers can search for them at JobFocus.com, a service hosted by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.

3/23/2020 - City of Manatee Local Inspection Updates 

Manatee County is following the same procedure as Sarasota County. It will be at the discretion of the inspector on whether to enter an occupied structure to complete an inspection.

3/18/2020 - Message from Manatee County Building Department:

All Manatee County Government public buildings will be closed to the public for walk-in services beginning March 18.  County staff will continue to work and County services will continue to operate traditional hours. The public is encouraged to conduct transactions with the County online or over the phone whenever possible. Citizens can call 3-1-1 for more information.


Charlotte County Government Permitting- Open, Inspections- Open


City of North Port 

4/2/2020 - Building City of North Port Limited Operations During COVID-19 Pandemic


City of Venice Permitting- Open, Inspections- Open, same as Sarasota County


3/24/2020 - Longboat Key Town Hall begins virtual customer service

Customers can contact staff via phone at (941-316-1966), e-mail (permitdesk@longboatkey.org), and when necessary an appointment can be made. Building Permit submittals and pick-ups will be via bins set up at the exterior door of the Planning, Zoning, & Building Department offices – no walk-in customers will be allowed to enter the building.
*Please see the attached announcement from Longboat Key Planning, Zoning and Building Department.


Federal Reserve Action Plan

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan (EBL) Program - The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been activated by the Governor to provide short-term, interest-free loans to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Bridge Loan program helps businesses bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term U.S. Small Business Administration loans. Application Filing Deadline: May 8, 2020

U.S. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) - The President has activated a presidential disaster declaration in response to COVID-19. Impacted businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and private nonprofit organizations may apply for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. If your business has suffered substantial economic injury, you may qualify for an EIDL. EIDLs provide working capital to help businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster. The SBA can provide up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Application Filing Deadline: December 18, 2020

Helpful Slideshow on Florida SBDC COVID-19: Assistance for Small Business

Paycheck Protection Program - Much anticipated guidelines for the Paycheck Protection Program of the CARES Act were released by the SBA today. SBA provides that lenders may begin processing applications as soon as April 3.If you wish to begin preparing your application, you can download a sample form to see the information that will be requested from you.


US Chamber of Commerce, CONVID-19 Response Toolkit

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard

The Senate CARES Bill: TaxSenate Republicans and Democrats have unveiled legislation to provide emergency relief to workers, families, small businesses, and distressed industries. The full package is big, targeted, and will make a difference. Here are the tax details. Here are details for small businesses

Florida Property Tax Extension -  Property tax is normally due by March 31 in the year following the year the taxes are assessed. The Florida Department of Revenue (FDOR) extended the final due date for citizens and businesses to pay property taxes in all Florida Counties from March 31 to April 15, 2020. Payments that are remitted by April 15, 2020, for the 2019 tax year will be considered paid on-time. Additional information can be found in the DOR Emergency Order 20-52-DOR-001 (Property Tax Oversight).

Florida Sales and Use Tax Extension - Sales and use tax, as well as other related tax returns and payments, are normally due on the first day of the month and are late after the 20th day of the month. The FDOR extended the due date for sales and use tax, as well as other related taxes, collected in March to April 30, 2020 for taxpayers who have been adversely affected by COVID-19. Additional information, including guidance on what constitutes an adversely affected taxpayer, can be found in the DOR Emergency Order 20-52-DOR-002 (Sales and Use Tax and Related Taxes).

Federal Income Tax Filing and Payment Extension by IRS - The U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS announced that the due date for federal income tax filing and payment is extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020.  Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms nor call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief.  The IRS has established a dedicated page for updates and information on issues related to the COVID-19 virus:  www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

Click Here for full article from the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

Article Includes:

Paycheck Protection Program Loans

Small Business Debt Relief Program

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grants

Small Business Counseling

Small Business Contracting

Small Business Tax Provisions

Division of Corporations Annual Reports Filing Extension - The annual report filing deadline for Florida business entities has been suspended until June 30, 2020 per Department of State Emergency Order 2020-01. This includes any corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership or limited liability limited partnership entities required to file an annual report with the Florida Division of Corporations. For more information, please visit the Division of Corporations website.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced more guidance to provide information to workers and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020The guidance announced on March 26,2020 augments information WHD published the day before, including a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document. Additional guidance is forthcoming. For more information about the laws enforced by the WHD, call 866-4US-WAGE, or visit www.dol.gov/agencies/whd.

New Guidance posters:  for federal workers  for all other employees

Frequently asked Questions & Answers about FFCRA

Field Assistance Bulletin - describing WHD's 30-day non-enforcement policy


Congress Passes Coronavirus Rescue Package Largest Emergency Aid Bill in History Helps Millions of Americans, Hospitals, Businesses

Am I Eligible? What are Lenders Looking For?    How much can I Borrow?  Will this Loan be Forgiven?

Full Small Business Guide and Checklist

Link to Article and CARES Act Webinar

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. To keep up to date on when these programs become available, please stay in contact with your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office, which you can locate here.

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program FAQs


Re-open FloridaPresented to Governor Ron DeSantis’ Re-open Florida Task Force


Task force on Florida ‘rebound and resurgence’ to return advice by week’s end


Tips for Collecting Health-Related Information for Essential Workers: Minimizing the Risk of Transmitting COVID-19 in the Workplace


Prepare your Small Business and Employees for the Effects of COVID-19


The COVID19 Office Technology Cleaning Guide by Rite Technology


 Crisis Response and Preparedness by Adams and Reese


Construction is essential to Florida’s economy by Mary Dougherty


Executive Order Number 20-93

COVID-19 Emeergency Order- Reemployment Assistance Program

Executive Order Number 20-94

Emergency Management - COVID-19 - Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief


Governor DeSantis Executive Order Attached

Please find attached the executive order by Governor DeSantis for a stay at home order for the next 30 days. This order commencing at 12:01 AM on April 3rd and this order shall expire April 30, 2020, unless extended by subsequent order.

Construction is on the list of essential services within the executive order.

Open Construction sites irrespective of the type of building;

Contractors and other tradesmen, appliance repair personnel, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other structures; 

Architectural, Engineering, or Land surveying services.


Tips for Working Remotely with Microsoft Teams by Kevin Baylor


The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange has joined forces with other business organizations in Manatee and Sarasota counties to connect displaced workers with employers who need to fill staffing demands brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Employers can post jobs and workers can search for them at JobFocus.com, a service hosted by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.


Everything You Need to Know About Coronavirus Federal Small Business Stimulus Aid Programs


Click here for more information on small business resources from GCBX Member Centerstate Bank.


Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published its first round of implementation guidance pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The guidance addresses critical questions such as:

How does an employer count its number of employees to determine coverage?

How can small businesses obtain an exemption?

How does an employer count hours for part-time employees?

How does an employer calculate wages employees are entitled to under the FFCRA?

The initial WHO guidance is available in three-parts:

Fact Sheet for Employees

Fact Sheet for Employers

Questions and Answers

The Department of Labor encourages you to forward this information to workers and employers in your state.

A workplace poster model for covered employers will be published later this week, along with additional fact sheets and FAQs


Revised Bill Signed into Law Requiring Small Businesses to Provide Paid Leave due to Coronavirus

Free 24/7 Bilingual Helpline Open to Provide Emotional Support during COVID-19 Health Crisis


Construction Coronavirus Alert by Adams and Reese LLP: Contractors, Prepare for Construction Projects to Stop, and Know Your Legal Rights

Over the past two weeks, the United States has experienced change at break-neck speed. On March 16, 2020, the City of Boston ordered the cessation of all construction projects in the city for an initial period of 14 days. It is only a matter of time before other cities and the federal government do the same. Click for full Article


Example Message from GCBX Member GC to their Subs

Click here


United Way provides FREE tax preparation to individuals and families that meet the criteria

They have announced that they are closed through March 30, but this could be a big assistance to folks in need.

Click here for the link


Important Information for your Business:

    Florida Governor Announces Bridge Loan - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state is making available "bridge loans" of up to $50,000 for small businesses affected by the outbreak. The program is open to businesses with between two and 100 employees.

    Click here for Proposed New U.S. Employment Laws Amid Coronavirus: Good News for Employees, Not Exactly Ideal for Small Businesses by Adams and Reese LLP

    CDC Resources for Businesses and Employers - Plan, prepare, and respond to Coronavirus disease 2019


    Information to help you take action for your business:

    Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the activation of a Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on Florida’s local businesses. The survey, which is managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so implementation of relief programs can begin. Results from this survey will be shared with state agencies and local partners. Surveys submitted by small businesses can be used to access the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan, made available for COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. For inquiries or assistance with the survey, businesses can contact Emergency Support Function 18 at ESF18@em.myflorida.com.

    We encourage you to complete the short online survey here.

    The Small Business Administration will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

    Click here for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

    For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Florida, please visit the Florida Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage.


    During these unusual and historic times we are attempting to stay informed and most importantly keep you informed. We have decided that GCBX staff will telecommute until March 30, 2020, but we may extend that date. We feel this is the right thing to do not just for us, but for the greater community. While this is an evolving situation, without perfect information, there is good reason to believe that the virus will spread in Florida, so we feel at GCBX it is important for us all to do our part.

    We ask all GCBX members to be prepared and take precautions at this time:

    Practice aggressive social distancing (6 feet between people – staying at home if possible)

    Practice good hygiene – washing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water – refrain from touching your face

    Stay out of large groups

    Use Zoom or Teams rather than having face to face meetings (GCBX Member Rite Technology can help you facilitate the use of this technology)

    Direct employees to stay home if they are sick

    Follow the CDC guidelines 

      We will pass on relevant information as we receive it.

      Two good sources for businesses are:

      Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

      As you asses your business needs, refer to this article from Adams and Reese LLP with a Labor and Employment Coronavirus Alert- New ADA Rules for Employers.

        In this uncertain time, we want to remind you we are all in this together. Please take all necessary precautions to protect yourselves and each other. Remember to check in with your loved ones and those most at risk, offering to deliver groceries or food is a great way to help those who are most vulnerable. Also, local businesses are suggesting purchasing gift cards to restaurants and small shops to help them maintain cash flow during these hard times. Remember to shop local when you can and these little things will help our economy bounce back in times of need. 

        GCBX is still working to represent the members and keep you informed. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.

        Gulf Coast Builders Exchange is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved
        8433 Enterprise Circle, Suite 120
        Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
        Telephone (941) 907-7745
        Fax (941) 907-3898
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